Taking on a dog as a pet is a big commitment and should not be taken lightly. A dog will need attention, routine veterinary treatment, training, grooming and daily care for 10-15 years.
Too many dogs end up in rescue homes waiting to be re-homed due to an owner deciding after buying the dog that they cannot give it the care it needs or cope with the financial commitment of owning a dog, the novelty of dog ownership wearing off, changes in circumstances or some other reason. Just as anyone would give careful consideration to their circumstances, lifestyle, commitment, time etc before starting a family, buying a dog should be considered in the same way.
A dog will affect every household member and is not the same as one member of the family having a small pet which they are responsible for and other family members having little or no involvement with. A dog must be wanted by all the household and all must be willing to involve themselves equally with the dog as a new family member.
A dog is not a pet that a child can be expected to be solely responsible for and will need an adult carer. It is important to consider other pets in the household and all family members when choosing a dog as a pet to ensure a dog will fit into the lifestyle and environment of the family as a whole.
Although some dogs are fairly independent and happy to amuse themselves for periods of time, they are sociable animals and so it is not ideal to get a dog if it is going to be left alone all day throughout the week while owner(s) are at work and/or school. Some dogs left alone regularly for long periods of time can become bored and this can often lead to destructive or anti-social behaviour.
The type of dog suitable for a particular adult or family will vary. Some breeds require more space, exercise and care than others. The size and characteristics of the dog will also have a bearing on suitability for the environment in which it is to live.